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2019 Bond FAQ

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If you have a question which is not answered here, please send an email to questions@bruinbond.com

LIST OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Can I see a sample ballot? Yes! One is shown on this page, or CLICK HERE for a full-length sample ballot. You'll notice there are TWO QUESTIONS on the ballot. State law requires that ...
    Posted Jul 16, 2019, 1:22 PM by Granger Meador
  • How can you say the bond issue would not raise taxes? Oklahoma school districts are funded by annual property tax millages, which would NOT increase with approval of this bond issue. By state law, the district can only receive 35 mills ...
    Posted Jul 17, 2019, 5:48 AM by Granger Meador
  • Why do we need a new pressbox? The existing pressbox has been perched atop Custer Stadium for 65 years. It is the worst in class 6A in the state, being far too small and outdated to properly ...
    Posted Jan 3, 2020, 12:38 PM by Granger Meador
  • Why do we need an agriculture building? Almost all 6A districts have agriculture programs, which is not an offering at the vo-tech school. Bartlesville is finally catching up, with over 100 students enrolled in a new ...
    Posted Jul 16, 2019, 8:11 AM by Granger Meador
  • What is the cost breakdown of the bond issue?  AreaAmount %  Technology  ≅$4.2 million  24% Facility Projects $3.7 million 21% Maintenance $3.3 million 19% Curriculum ≅$3.1 million 17% Transportation (must be voted on separately from ...
    Posted Jul 16, 2019, 1:24 PM by Granger Meador
  • What are key projects in this bond issue? This bond advances the excellence established by previous bond issues, focusing on familiar areas for which the school district must rely on voter-approved bonds. Technology (23%) Voters have approved ...
    Posted Jul 16, 2019, 1:25 PM by Granger Meador
  • WHO CAN VOTE? WHERE DO I VOTE? HOW CAN I VOTE EARLY? Anyone who lives in the Bartlesville school district and registered with the appropriate county election board by Friday, July 19, 2019 is eligible to vote on Tuesday, August ...
    Posted Aug 4, 2019, 10:29 AM by Granger Meador
Showing posts 1 - 7 of 7. View more »

Can I see a sample ballot?

posted Jul 16, 2019, 8:49 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jul 16, 2019, 1:22 PM ]

Yes! One is shown on this page, or CLICK HERE for a full-length sample ballot

HELPFUL HINT:
If you are a registered voter in the district, you can also use the state's ONLINE VOTER TOOL to input your name and birthdate and locate your polling place, view the sample ballot, and track an absentee ballot if you request one.
Sample ballot

How can you say the bond issue would not raise taxes?

posted Jul 16, 2019, 8:40 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jul 17, 2019, 5:48 AM ]

Oklahoma school districts are funded by annual property tax millages, which would NOT increase with approval of this bond issue.
By state law, the district can only receive 35 mills of property taxes for its general fund and 5 mills for its building fund. That funding level is not sufficient for any new construction nor large-scale renovations, especially when state formula aid funding has never recovered from a decade of cuts.

Bartlesville patrons approved a 2016 bond issue that increased the annual "sinking fund" millage from about 27 to about 30 mills. That extra millage is devoted to project areas outlined in each bond issue and CANNOT be spent for any other purposes.

The 2019 bond issue is designed so that the "sinking fund" millage would be kept as steady as possible at approximately 30 mills.  As old bonds from the earlier bond issues rolled off, they would be replaced by new ones, keeping property taxes steady rather than the millage "sinking" over time if no new bond issues were approved.

You can think of it as a property-tax version of the sales taxes Bartlesville residents regularly vote to renew every so often to fund economic development and perform citywide infrastructure projects.

If voters failed to approve any new bond issues, the sinking fund millage would gradually decline to zero over the next decade or so, as the old bonds were paid off. But the lack of new funding for facilities, maintenance, technology, textbooks, and more would eventually require massive amounts of the district's General Fund to fulfill critical needs. Many elective programs and courses and extracurricular offerings would be eliminated, teaching positions would be cut, and class sizes would increase dramatically. The established excellence in Bartlesville Public Schools is a consequence of voters historically investing in their schools by passing regular bond issues to preserve, protect, and support a comprehensive quality education for all students.
Property tax

 How does a continuing sinking fund rate of 30 mills translate into dollars?


Since 2016 property owners in the school district have been paying a levy of 30 mills for district’s sinking fund, which is dedicated to projects in voter-approved bond issues. The bond issue would maintain that rate. How that translates into dollars depends on the assessed valuation of the property.


To determine the annual amount being paid, you first have to obtain the “net assessed valuation” by calculating 11% of the “taxable market value” of the property. Many homeowners qualify for a “homestead exemption” which reduces the resulting amount by $1,000. Then you multiply the new value by 0.030, since 30 mills translates to 30/1000, to obtain the annual tax being levied.


For example, a home with a taxable market value of $100,000 would have a net assessed valuation of 0.11 * $100,000 = $11,000.

But a homestead exemption reduces that by $1,000, and $11,000 - $1,000 = $10,000.

Then we multiply by the appropriate millage: 0.030 * $10,000 = $300.

So that homeowner is currently paying (and, if this proposal is approved, they would continue to pay) $300 per year (which equates to $25 per month) in property taxes to the district’s sinking fund to pay off bond issues for school improvements.

Why do we need a new pressbox?

posted Jul 16, 2019, 8:32 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jan 3, 2020, 12:38 PM ]

The existing pressbox has been perched atop Custer Stadium for 65 years. It is the worst in class 6A in the state, being far too small and outdated to properly serve the number of broadcasters, videographers, and coaches who normally pile into a pressbox in the modern age.

Back when Custer Stadium was being designed in 1954, they planned for a larger pressbox.
1954 Custer Stadium rendering
But instead, a small metal shed was built, with a dangling stairway. Some years ago the area around the stairway was enclosed to boost the shed's capacity.
65-year-old pressbox shed

An example of how we could do better is Ponca City's new $1.4 million pressbox, which has similar features and square footage to what is planned in our 2019 bond issue.
Ponca City pressbox
Bartlesville's Lyon Foundation has graciously stepped forward to reduce the cost of a new pressbox for taxpayers. It will fund $400,000 of the pressbox's estimated cost of $1.2 million.

Updated pressbox rendering
The new pressbox would have an elevator, as now mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would be configured to also serve the concession stand floor of Custer Stadium to make that easier to load. The new pressbox would have ample areas for broadcasters, videographers, and coaches. Small press restrooms and a small hospitality room would be included.
Floorplan
Track and tennis court improvements funded by the 2016 bond issue have allowed the high school to host tournaments to boost the local economy, and the new facility atop the stadium would allow us to finally host band contests. 

It is past time for us to make this investment in Custer Stadium to provide what modern athletics and performing arts programs demand for a district of our size.

Why do we need an agriculture building?

posted Jul 16, 2019, 8:11 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jul 16, 2019, 8:11 AM ]

Almost all 6A districts have agriculture programs, which is not an offering at the vo-tech school. Bartlesville is finally catching up, with over 100 students enrolled in a new vocational agriculture program for grades 8-12 that begins in August 2019. We hope to no longer lose students to other districts which offer such programs. Excited community partners have stepped up to donate a trailer and other support for this new initiative.

The bond would provide an agriculture classroom/shop building at the south end of the high school campus, near the indoor practice facility, with room to accommodate a second teacher as the program grows. This would NOT be an animal barn.
Ag Building

What is the cost breakdown of the bond issue?

posted Jul 16, 2019, 8:06 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jul 16, 2019, 1:24 PM ]

Pie Chart

 AreaAmount 
 Technology  ≅$4.2 million  24%
 Facility Projects $3.7 million 21% 
Maintenance $3.3 million 19% 
Curriculum ≅$3.1 million 17% 
Transportation 
(must be voted on separately
 from the other areas) 
≅$1.9 million 10% 
Safety & Security Upgrades $900,000 5% 
Activities $460,000 3% 
Site Needs & Printing Hardware $410,000 2% 

Shown in the chart and table are broad categorizations of the projects across the two bond issues on the ballot. Precise dollar amounts in ballot-language categories are in the state-mandated Bond Transparency Act notice. 

WE DELIVER ON WHAT WE PROMISE
The district will continue to invite a Bond Oversight Committee of concerned citizens to review and inspect what the district accomplishes with each bond issue. Click here for many progress reports from the 2016 bond.

What are key projects in this bond issue?

posted Jul 16, 2019, 7:46 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Jul 16, 2019, 1:25 PM ]


This bond advances the excellence established by previous bond issues, focusing on familiar areas for which the school district must rely on voter-approved bonds.
  • Technology (23%)
Voters have approved bond funding for the district's technology hardware and software for years. 
  • Chromebooks
    • Established excellence: The 2016 bond funded a Student Computing Initiative to provide modern, inexpensive devices for students. Chromebooks are now supplied for use at school and at home to high school students, and in August middle school students will also receive the devices. These are used for digital assignments and textbooks. Math students have enjoyed tailored video lessons to enhance teachers' classroom instruction and all classes can offer more interactive homework with better feedback.  Chromebook carts are now available in every elementary school so that students no longer have to troop down to scheduled time in a computer lab.Computing Initiative Timeline
    • Advancing excellence: The 2019 bond will maintain the Chromebooks checkout programs in 2021-22 and 2022-23 while refreshing the Chromebook and iPad carts in the elementary schools used for STEM modules, a wide variety of individualized learning services, and more.
  • Electronic Whiteboards
    • Established excellence: Bond issues over a decade ago equipped every elementary classroom with an electronic whiteboard and projector. Those devices have been a revolution for interactive teaching. But the devices are reaching the end of their life spans, with many relying on electronic pens that are no longer manufactured.
ActivPanels
    • Advancing excellence: The 2019 bond will replace all of the elementary school electronic whiteboards with large modern touchscreen monitors. These are brighter than the projector systems, students and teachers don't cast shadows on them, and they respond to fingertips or pens. They will be fully compatible with the countless lessons our teachers have developed with the existing whiteboards.
  • Software and Services
    • Bond issues now fund almost all software and services used in the district. That includes:
      • the PowerSchool software that provides the gradebooks, attendance, and much more
      • the Canvas learning management system used by secondary students for digital assignments, which is also used at OU, OSU, and many other universities
      • a wide variety of individualized learning tools for students, including Star, Study Island, Reading Eggs, Math Seeds, etc.
      • the district's financial software and other critical infrastructure
  • Network infrastructure
    • The district's network appliances, switches, cabling, wireless access points, etc. need to be replaced at regular intervals to provide the services students, teachers, and staff expect and deserve.
  • Facility Projects (21%)
    • The district was an outlier among 6A districts in not providing an agriculture program. That is being remedied: an experienced agriculture teacher has been hired, and over 100 students have enrolled in introductory agriculture classes at the two middle schools and high school for 2019-2020. The agriculture program will need classrooms with attached shop space at Bartlesville High School.
      Ag Building
    • The 65-year-old pressbox at Custer Stadium is the worst among the state's 6A districts and is far too small to meet today's needs. The Lyon Foundation has agreed to pay about one-third of the cost of a replacement.Pressbox
    • The new turf at Custer Stadium, funded by proceeds from the 2016 bond issue, has renewed that facility and created a safer play area for the athletes. The 2019 bond would turf the infields at Doenges Memorial Stadium and the softball field near Madison to reduce maintenance and improve play.
    • Each school site would receive additional furnishings identified as top needs.
    • Since it was built 15 years ago, the Fine Arts Center Auditorium at Bartlesville HIgh School has hosted countless school and community events. The 2019 bond would install an electric orchestra pit lift. The current pit cover and framework takes a full day for district maintenance workers to put up or take down. An electric lift would improve the beautiful facilities functionality and be safer for all concerned.
    • Central Middle School & Ranch Heights Elementary School have parking area and traffic flow needs that would be addressed.
    • All school sites would be equipped with a corridor dispenser for water bottles along with the traditional drinking fountains.
  • Maintenance (19%)
    • Our schools range from 34 to over 100 years old, so they demand regular maintenance.  The bond would fund improvements at every site, including:
      • replace the original elevators at Bartlesville High School and at Madison Middle School
      • repair broken cafeteria serving line heating units at Madison, and update the areas still on the half-century-old steam heat system
      • replace the auditorium curtains at Bartlesville High School, Central Middle School, and Madison Middle School, and replace carpeting at the 15-year-old Fine Arts Center at the high school
      • playground equipment for Central, Hoover, Jane Phillips, and Woodrow Wilson schools
      • HVAC updates at Hoover
      • and much more
  • Curriculum (17%)
    • Purchase textbooks for two academic years, which are physical books for elementary students and electronic textbooks for secondary students with Chromebooks
    • STEM
      Fund STEM and science equipment
       to maintain the district's award-winning PLTW Distinguished School STEM programs at the high school and both middle schools, maintain the elementary STEM program that was initially implemented by community donations, and continue to renew hands-on laboratory equipment and appliances for the district's secondary science classes
    • Intervention software tailored to help students who struggle to master state standards
    • Library books and software
  • Safety & Security (5%)
    • Refresh the LobbyGuard secure entry kiosks as they reach a decade of use
    • Refresh all building cameras and increase coverage throughout each school's corridors and public areas
    • Provide crosswalk warning lights at key locations, update exterior doors, reinforce some refuge area windows, add classroom door lockdown shades
  • Activities (3%)
    • Annual funding for fine arts instruments, uniforms, stage platforms and risers, storage, etc.
    • Annual funding for athletics equipment, uniforms, etc.
AND, VOTED ON AS A SEPARATE ISSUE PER STATE LAW:
  • Transportation (10%)
    • Replace 13 route buses that will be over a decade old to improve the fleet's efficiency, reliability, and safety
    • Replace one special needs bus and a few other vehicles

WHO CAN VOTE? WHERE DO I VOTE? HOW CAN I VOTE EARLY?

posted May 22, 2019, 3:52 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Aug 4, 2019, 10:29 AM by Granger Meador ]

Anyone who lives in the Bartlesville school district and registered with the appropriate county election board by Friday, July 19, 2019 is eligible to vote on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.


EARLY VOTING on 8/8 and 8/9

(no absentee ballot needed)

Registered voters can also vote BEFORE the election at the county election board office,

420 S. Johnstone for Washington County voters,  on

  • Thursday, August 8, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, August 9, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

REGULAR VOTING on Tuesday, August 13 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at your local polling place.


ABSENTEE BALLOTS

The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is August 7 at 5 p.m. Absentee ballots must be received by mail at the county election board on or before August 13.

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